By Rup Narayan Dhakal : Biratnager—Paschimanchal Hotel Association Pokhara (PHAP) in cooperation with Nepal Tourism Board has concluded a 4-day long Jaun Hai Pokhara (Let’s go to Pokhara) campaign in Chitwan the day before. The campaign covered Parsa, Birgunj, Janakpur, Biratnagar and Chitwan. Press meets and interaction programs with local journalists and provincial government authorities were held during the campaign, informed PHAP Chairman Bikal Tulachan who is also a joint coordinator of Tourism Restoration Committee Gandaki Province.
The PHAP came up with its campaign Jaun Hai Pokhara which has been ongoing every year for more than 18 years, to restore the tourism business that is being hard-hit by Covid- 19 Pandemic that is believed to be started from China in December last year and also affected the whole world. With the announcement of up to 50 percent discount in accommodation especially in the room rate and other tourism services, PHAP conducted that campaign in eastern Nepal.
According to Bharat Raj Parajuli, who is the coordinator of this campaign and is the central committee member of Hotel Association Nepal, most of the entrepreneurs and journalists who attended the programs stressed on the need for good connectivity between Pokhara and the eastern Nepal cities like Simara, Janakpur, and Biratnagar. Mohan Sharma who is the hotelier of Bara also underlined the direct flights between Pokhara and Simara to boost the tourism business.
Likewise, Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Gopal Kediya also urged the government and the private sector to operate the direct flights with Pokhara at least once a week. Suresh Kumar Mandal, Province 2 state minister for tourism, industry, forest and environ said that his government is ready to cooperate with Gandaki Province government for the development of turism sector.
Province 2 tourism secretary Dr Ram Chandra Kandel said that domestic tourism is the key sector that helps to develop sustainable tourism. Tourism Restoration Committee Province 2 Chairman Manish Jha sought a need of an immigration office in the bordering area of Birgunj.
Regional Hotel Association Morang Chairman Rajan Shrestha praised the Jaun Hai Pokhara campaign, reminding that the campaign was started during the time of 10-year long Nepal’s civil war between Maoists and the government. PHAP advisor Hari Prasad Sharma Gaire made clear that they were in Biratnagar for not doing their business but for the sake of promotion and restoration of Covid-hit tourism. NTB executive member and one of the masterminds behind the campaign Biplab Paudel was also in the promotion group.